Madeleine McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell to headline fourth CommsCon

Clarence Mitchell to open CommsCon

Clarence Mitchell to open CommsCon

The man who has handled media relations for the family of Madeleine McCann is to headline the CommsCon Conference next March.

Former BBC journalist Clarence Mitchell will launch the day by outlining how he has worked with the family of Madeleine, who disappeared eight years ago while aged three from a family holiday, to keep the story in the news. He will also reflect on his career as a journalist and the recent launch of his own communications consultancy.

The story behind the origin of the McWhopper Peace Day campaign will also be presented for the first time anywhere and how Lindt handled media relations during the Sydney Siege, while speakers include Edelman’s Michelle Hutton, UM’s Sophie Price, One Green Bean’s Claire Salvetti and former STW COO Chris Savage.

image001 (2)

The conference, which is organised by Mumbrella and presented in association with headline sponsor Isentia, will delve into a range of issues and topics designed to help PR and communications professionals better understand their discipline and the issues their ever-changing industry is facing.

Earlybird tickets for CommsCon which takes place in Sydney on March 23, 2016, go on sale today with savings of up to $240 per person.

Former Edelman Australia CEO and now global consumer marketing chair at the global PR agency, Michelle Hutton will take to the conference stage to discuss the opportunities for public relations as a the new category of “communications marketing” emerges.

Hutton will then be joined onstage by creative, media and PR professionals, including UM chief strategy officer Sophie Price, for a panel discussion on should, and could, PR agencies position themselves to be the creative agency of the future.

One Green Bean managing partner Claire Salvetti will be giving a presentation outlining how the agency creates work that grabs headline and media coverage, looking at local and international case-studies to highlight best practice.

Edelman boss Michelle Hutton











Y&R New Zealand’s Josh Moore and Jono Key will present on how they came up with and executed the McWhopper stunt, which made headlines around the world. The campaign saw Burger King challenge McDonald’s to join forces to create the ultimate hybrid hamburger the McWhopper to mark Peace Day.

The duo will explain how the campaign’s social “war room” responded to the public, and McDonald’s, in real time once the campaign went live as well as how Y&R as an agency has evolved to create more PR-led work.

Ian Pope


Ian Pope, Edelman’s general manager of corporate, will step audiences through how he and his team handled the Sydney Siege on behalf of their client Lindt. Pope will explain how they worked alongside police during the initial event and how they worked with the premium chocolate brand in the weeks and months after the tragic events of last December.

isentia logoMedia intelligence company Isentia will unveil research on how a news story changes over time, with a focus on the role of social media in breaking news and how a news story’s narrative is shaped. Isentia will also present exclusive research on how PR and communications professionals, as well as journalists, view social media and how it has impacted on their research and fact-checking habits.

The conference will also see Weber Shandwick Australia managing director Ava Lawler alongside other agency bosses outline how leadership teams can help build a career for their junior to mid-level staff.

Other topics to be tackled include how in-house PR teams can get the most out of their agency partners and the political lobbying agenda of 2016.



CommsCon 2016 will be capped off with a presentation from Chris Savage who will look at the future of the PR space and what it will take to triumph or die. He’ll also be providing practical tips on the skills PR and communications professionals will need to personally succeed in an ever-changing communications landscape.

A third stream will be dedicated to the rise of the “influencer” and will look to debate if influencers can move the needle for clients. Topics and speakers for this stream will be announced early in the new year.

Further speakers for session one and two will be announced in the coming weeks.

In the evening the 2016 CommsCon Awards ceremony will be held at Daltone House, Jones Bay Wharf.

To view the CommsCon Conference 2016 program and find out how to buy discounted early bird tickets, click here.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.